I don’t necessarily want to make a habit of talking contemporary issues on a regular basis but the events in, around, and about Iran over the past few weeks have really got me thinking. Â There are a couple of points I would like to bring up.
- The USÂ administrationÂ and European leaders don’tÂ seemÂ to really have a clue what they are doing. Â They keep making statements about what they will not tolerate, and hen tolerate it anyway. Â This has beenÂ goingÂ on for years and on the US side started with the ClintonÂ administrationÂ as far as I can see. Â A clear line has not been drawn and stuck to, that is probably the root of Iran’sÂ boldness, they have not really been held to account for ignoring the West’s concerns. Â It also helps that they have the backing of Russia and China. Â Unless andÂ untilÂ the West grows a spine, Iran will continue to defy them. Â Concrete measures need to be taken, a sow of force more impressive than an aircraft carrier moving into the Gulf. Â I am thinking something along the lines of “GunboatÂ Diplomacy” here.
- Russia and China, what do they get out of support for Iran other than sticking it to the West? Â I don’t detect anything other than spite on the part of both nations. Â They have just as much to lose by the existence of a nuclear armed Iran as the West or do they really think they can control the Mullahs in Tehran?
- Israel. Â Except for Iran, Israel is the wild card. Â They will do what they think they have to do to protect themselves. Â The bombing attacks aginst Israeli targets over the last few days increase the risk of Israeli action. Â What is Iran trying to do here, actually provoke an attack by Israel? Â That would be a mistake on Iran’s part. Â A nuclear Iran is theÂ nightmareÂ scenario for Israel and they will not allow that to come to pass. Â I can almost see US and Israeli planes getting into aÂ shootingÂ match over anÂ IsraeliÂ strikeÂ on Israel because theÂ administrationÂ does not have the balls to do what the Israelis have said they will do. Â Do not doubt that Israel will act when they feel it is necessary. Â Lastly, we should not forget that Israel is also an undeclared nuclear power in their own right. Â There is aÂ probablyÂ a powderkegÂ rightÂ there we don’t to see lit.
- The rest of the Middle East. Â I am very curious to see the results of the Arab Spring of ’12. Â I almost expect to see the UAR resurrected. Â It seems apparent that fundamentalists, if not outright Jihadists are coming to power in both Egypt and Libya. Â That does not bode well for results in Syria. Â The ironic part of that is Obama and Europe areÂ definitelyÂ not getting the results they said they would. Â The conservative Cassandra’s of last spring, me included, seem to be getting vindicated with the rise of Islamist politicians in the post revolt countries.
I think if things keep going the way they are, we will see some sort of military exchange with Iran this year. Â I am guessing that Iran will start it. Â I don’t think they are bluffing about trying to shut down the Straight of Hormuz and it makes me wonder how far along there nuclear program really is? Â It would be bad for us if there first nuclear test was in a boat anywhere near the US 5th Fleet. Â I am not even certain that Obama and Co. wouldÂ reactÂ to an act like that as forcefully as they should.
The situation certainly bears watching. Â We are indeed living in “interesting times.” I think I am going to start reposting stuff here about Iran over the next few months to keep my readers abreast of what is going on.